Obligatory Christmas Post

I wanted to write a Christmas postpennay but I couldn’t figure out where to start, what to say.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this holiday which are only becoming more depressing as I get older. I couldn’t very well write a rant about the materialistic aspects of Christmas or its consumerist ideals, because I don’t want to be a Grinch.

But I wasn’t about to write a list of all I’m thankful for because all I’m thankful has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. Basically I have no feelings this Christmas regarding the holiday season.

I’m really not trying to poop on Christmas. I said that. So here are a few things that help make Christmas feel real to me every year:

My grandma. My grandmother is a saint. She raised my mom and her other three children alone, got her college degree when she was fifty-eight, volunteers regularly despite her increasing arthritis, and has been the most caring and loving grandma I could hope for.

She comes with small, heartfelt gifts that she truly believes will make us smile, and they do, if only because she brought them. She is the prototype of the joy of giving and never wants anything in return, and as a grandma should is overjoyed to accept any small handmade gift from her grandkids, even when they’re in their twenties.

Additionally, I am really into her no-fail method of cooking in which she refuses to make from scratch anything she could make from a box or can instead.

My brother Ryan. He is my home. When I come home from school, I come home to him. As my family is slowly transforming into a different entity than what it was in my youth, my baby brother (who is now fifteen) continues to be the foundation of what home means to me.

The Rocca family. My boyfriend’s family is huge, full of love, and completely insane in the best possible way. They are nonexclusive, meaning they welcome anyone who shows up, and if I were to break up with Joey I would still be welcome at their get-togethers.

Annually Joey’s dad hosts a Christmas Eve party and dinner that usually has dozens of guests. We eat, we drink. We have contests like who can scream Christmas carols loudest and who can tear a piece of paper into a Christmas tree behind their back best.

They’re yelly, smokey, and completely spirited in all that they do. This year, Christmas Eve was the most Christmas I felt.

My American girl dolls. Okay, okay, so I’m assuming any guy reading this has no idea what I’m talking about, and any girl is rolling her eyes. But ever since I got my American girl dolls when I was ten or whatever, I’ve dressed them up for the holidays, partially because it’s fun and partially because my grandma and mom think it’s both adorable and hilarious.

But something about putting my creepy dolls into their fancy dresses really makes me feel like Christmas. This could easily be because in my childhood each Christmas I would wake up to a new doll under the tree, or wake up to find my dolls kidnapped and then locate them under the tree in all new clothes. These dolls were a huge part of my childhood Christmases.

My cat hating wearing clothes. Call me cruel, but when Penny wears clothes she walks backwards until the article falls of. And it’s hilarious. And if you think I’m being mean you clearly don’t have a cat, because cats hate you so it’s okay to laugh at them.

Every Christmas Penny ends up in something, usually her Christmas jingle-y collar. This year my mom got her an ODU bandana to wear, and she hid under the bed for hours so I couldn’t even take it off her, which is basically tradition.

Ham. I believe this is self-explanatory. HAM IS DELICIOUS. With this comes the feeling that I can literally eat as much as I want and no one will judge me.


So what makes Christmas for you? What gives you that warm, love-filled Christmas feeling? I’d love to hear about traditions or any feelings about the holiday.


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